Q: What is SEALNet? What do you do?
A: You can learn more about us here.
Q: What kind of applicants are you looking for?
A: We are looking for college students who value commitment, passion, diversity, and open-mindedness. You do not need to have had extensive service experience. We ask that you be open to new experiences and be willing to share and learn with your fellow teammates.
Q: I am a high school student/I have graduated from college already. Can I apply?
A: Our projects are targeted at college students. High school students and college graduates who can demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively with a team of college students are welcome to apply, but they are only accepted on a very exceptional basis. Feel free to contact the project leaders regarding your situation.
High school students are instead encouraged to join our summer projects as high school leadership mentees (learn more about the SEALNet Model here). The details and application information will be available on our website in April or May.
Q: How many people are you accepting for each project?
A: There is no exact limit on the number of participants in each project; this all depends on the needs of each project. As a rough guide, each project will have about 15-20 members.
Q: Why are the essays limited to a few hundred words? What if I wish to write more?
A: Due to the large number of applications, we ask that you be concise in your answers.
Q: I would like to learn more about the projects/application process before applying…
A: The project descriptions provide you with a very good idea of the projects. If you still have any queries about the projects, contact the individual project leaders. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I submit my writing responses in another language besides English?
A: You will need to fill out and submit your application in English. However, you have the option of including a link to your response in the other language under section IV (Additional Information). Under the same segment, please make a note as to why you have chosen to include your response in another language besides English.
Q: When can I expect to hear back about the status of my application?
A: You will hear back from the project leaders by late April.
Q: Do I have to pay for lodging/food…?
A: SEALNet’s policy is to cover all the on-site expenses except the travel expenses to the site. Thus you are expected to get to (and leave) the project site at your own expense. Once you are there, all food and lodging on the ground will be provided for by SEALNet for the duration of the trip. You should bring along some cash, though, just in case you wish to purchase souvenirs. You will also have to pay for any recreational activities that you choose to partake in on the project’s fun day.
However, each team member is responsible for fundraising $500 towards the project as this will cause all of the team members to feel both more in control of the project and more tied to the project’s stake. This fundraising contribution is NOT a participation fee and donations can be made online in the name of a specific project member and are tax-deductible donations to a 501(c)(3) for US income tax purposes. A receipt with SEALNet’s tax number will be issued to all donors, in compliance with legal requirements.
Q: What if I cannot pay for the airfare to the project site?
A: We understand that airfare to Southeast Asia can be expensive, but unfortunately, due to budget restrictions, we are unable to subsidize travel expenses for project participants. We encourage you to seek alternative sources of funding e.g. service fellowships. The trip leaders may be able to suggest a few other options as well.
Q: What if I arrive early? Where can I stay/what can I do?
A: SEALNet will only provide for food/accommodation for the duration of the trip. If you are arriving early, you will have to find your own accommodations. If you really need help with local accommodation, the project leaders may be able to suggest some possible places to stay.
Q: Is the trip safe?
A: SEALNet takes the safety of the trip participants very seriously. Our planning teams include Southeast Asian natives who know the local conditions very well. Together with established local partners in the area, we have taken the utmost care to ensure the safety of the trip. All of our participants will be covered by a group travel insurance policy which provides an added level of security and peace of mind for participants. Finally, there are professional mentors assigned to each project who will be on the ground with each of the teams in order to assist the project leaders in any extreme cases and to provide another level of oversight for the projects. Our professional mentors work with the project leaders throughout the project planning stages and give ideas and feedback as well as insure that the project leaders have considered all of the various risks or potential emergency situations.
Q: I cannot speak the local language! Will that be a problem?
A: This will not be an issue. Our projects will have enough people who know how to speak the native language to facilitate any language issues.
Q: What is expected of me as a SEALNet project participant?
A:Teamwork: Each participant plays an integral part in the project and will have a specific role to play. You should be prepared to to be fully present and attentive and to participate full-heartedly in the project.
Learning and Growth: We take the learning and growth of our participants very seriously. Be open to the new experiences you will encounter with the different local communities and share your reflections with your teammates.
Friendship: We hope that everyone will cultivate long-lasting friendships and have an awesome experience.
We look forward to learning, sharing and growing with you over the projects!
Q: I am really excited about the ___ component of the ___ project! What can I do to help out?
A: Great! It is important to us to engage you on the issues that are important to you. Contact your trip leaders to express your interest, and they will communicate with you to find out how to best utilize your contributions.
Q: I want to go on a holiday in Southeast Asia!
A: Southeast Asia is indeed a great place to holiday in. We do expect to accomplish a lot within our projects, so there will not be much time to do sightseeing in the country during the projects. We also want to have fun on the projects though. Each project will have a fun day about half-way through the trip where everyone can relax and have fun. If you want to see more of the country, set some time aside after the project to explore the country!
Q: I have a summer internship/school/program. Can I come late/leave early for the project?
A: Since each project aims to accomplish quite a lot during the two weeks in the country, we will need each and every member for every single day of the program.
Q: I’ve been accepted! What’s next?
A: First off, congratulations! Prepare for an amazing summer experience! The trip leaders will be in contact with you for specific next steps, but here are some general administrative details:
1. Confirm your attendance
2. Sign the waiver form sent to you
3. Buy your plane tickets as soon as possible and send the itinerary to the trip leaders. Tickets get very expensive as we approach the date of departure, and it is always a good idea to buy them early. Alternatively, submit a $200 deposit to SEALNet and it will be refunded at the beginning of the project.